It seems no one wants to go into government
We're stuck in a weird limbo and people are very quickly getting tired of the chaos the political class is inflicting on us
Published 06/03/2016 | 02:30
It didn't take them long to deliver chaos, did it? By Friday, the addition of snow into the mix seemed all too apt. We probably wouldn't have been too surprised if it started raining frogs.
As the week went on, our initial giddiness at what we had done, at the flexing of our democratic muscles to demonise and destroy another government, gave way to a dawning realisation that things were indeed getting a bit messy. A seminal moment occurred midweek when Enda Kenny called for people to pay their water charges. This was the first moment that most people realised that no one was in charge, that no one had authority. Firstly, we realised that we didn't really care what Enda Kenny had to say because, while he is still technically Taoiseach, he lost the election, we threw him out. Secondly, we realised that even if Kenny had authority in general, a call to pay water charges was going nowhere. At this point the ones who hadn't paid were taking the mickey out of those who had in workplaces and pubs all over the country. Paying your taxes, or your charges, or whatever you want to call them, is now a mug's game in Ireland. Civil disobedience is now the sensible option apparently.
Politicians like to blame the media and even the public for discrediting politics. But last week, they had no one to blame but themselves. The situation, as far as anyone could understand it for most of the week, seemed to be that despite all their entreaties during the election campaign, no one wanted to be in government. This is partially to do with how the numbers shook out, but there also seems to be an underlying view that being in government is toxic in this country right now. The electorate has discovered a new game, which is gleefully decimating governments. This game was all the more fun for the electorate this time because it seems to have come as a surprise to at least one of the parties of government. No one seems quite sure how long this game is going to go on. But it seems most of the parties would like some breathing space before they go into government again. They'd like to save their turn until things have settled down a bit.